My last Booklikes Halloween Bingo read. I'm done with all the themes as of early this morning.
Sometimes I forget how Jane Austen could look at something, poke gentle fun at it and still respect it. Yes a lot of genre fiction (not called it then but now this is the tar it's painted with) is frivolous. There are some arguments that it can cause people to have an unrealistic view of the world and this is what Austen tackles here. She shows that it might colour how people think but it also helps them frame things and also people learn that these things are not true from rational thinking. And that diverting tales that include your gender beats boring histories without. There are also minor pokes at what is considered proper knowledge for women, fashion victims and other apparently eternal tropes. There are some excellent feminist moments in it, and careful looks at what is expected versus what someone wants from life.
Catherine Morland lives in the country in Wiltshire when she gets a chance to change her scene and go to Bath with neighbours (Mr and Mrs Allen) there she meets with people her own age and forms friendships. One is Eleanor Tilney and her brother Henry. Catherine and Henry find themselves attracted to each other but when Catherine visits the Gothic Northanger Abbey her imagination provides a lot of extras. However the truth may be less interesting and more upsetting.
While some of it flowed a bit differently from modern fiction, it was full of moments where I could imagine Austen reading to family or friends and them getting a kick of the reflection of events that had happened.